IncFile vs Northwest Registered Agent

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Are you deciding between IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent for your LLC formation company? We know, it can be confusing. But don’t worry! Read our helpful comparison guide below, to learn which company is the best for you.

LLC service providers all seem to offer the same services, but is price the only thing you should consider? We think user experience, including friendliness of website language and customer support, are really important too. That’s why we tried out their websites to see what it’s like to start your LLC with IncFile or Northwest Registered Agent, and we called their customer support teams multiple times to help you select the best company to form your LLC.

It can help to look at the values of each company: Northwest focuses on protecting customer privacy, while IncFile focuses on low-price business services. We compared IncFIle to Northwest Registered Agent on 10 different features of their business formation services.

Winner: Northwest Registered Agent is the clear winner over IncFile. With their simple pricing, privacy protection, and top quality customer support, Northwest is the best choice for small business owners starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC).

Is Northwest the best? We think so, yes! However, there are other companies out there. Check out our Best LLC Services page for more.

About IncFile

IncFile logo
The IncFile logo is a registered trademark of IncFile.

IncFile is an LLC formation company and Registered Agent service. They offer compliance services like LLC Annual Report filing, as well as other business filing services like DBAs and trademark applications.

Founded in 2004, IncFile has helped start over 500,000 businesses. Their business focuses on helping small business owners, and primarily offers features for people starting new businesses.

Want to learn more about IncFile?

Read more about these features in our IncFile LLC Review.

About Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent review
The Northwest Registered Agent logo is a registered trademark of Northwest Registered Agent.

Northwest Registered Agent is a well-established business that has been in operation for over 20 years. Besides being one of the largest Registered Agent service and business formation companies, Northwest also offers LLC formation service and other business document filing help.

Northwest has offices in all 50 states, so they can help you with your business needs no matter where you’re located. Best of all, Northwest has a dedicated team of subject matter experts that genuinely care about their customers.

Want to learn more about Northwest?

Read more about their unique privacy protections and other quality features in our Northwest Registered Agent review

LLC Formation Services: IncFile vs Northwest Registered Agent

The Basic LLC Package: What do you get?

We compared the features offered in the basic LLC formation package at each company. What else do you get besides the actual Articles of Organization filing with the state?

IncFile

The basic package (called “Silver”) includes a free name search, and one year of free Registered Agent service. Nothing else.

Northwest Registered Agent

The basic package includes access to the best customer service in the business, plus:

  • one year of free Registered Agent service
  • free Annual Report reminders service
  • an Operating Agreement template
  • a bank account resolution
  • LLC Membership Certificates
  • and a free trial of VoIP phone service.

Winner: Northwest Registered Agent definitely offers more features in their basic package.

Pricing

Note: None of the prices below include the state LLC filing fees.

IncFile

IncFile offers the Silver package for $0 (you only pay state filing fees), the Gold package for $149, and the Platinum package for $299.

IncFile LLC Formation Packages

The Silver package is a great deal, since you get your LLC formed and a free year of Registered Agent service and don’t have to pay any service fees. You only pay the state filing fee.

The Gold package is also pretty good value, since it includes a variety of extra features. We don’t think the Platinum package is worth it. The only things you get with Platinum that you don’t get with Gold are the contract templates and business website domain name.

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest offers LLC formation service for $100 – but LLC University® users get a discounted rate of $39! Click here to get our special offer.

Northwest offers 1 LLC service package.

Northwest decided to keep things simple and not offer several different LLC formation service packages. Many competitors’ packages have unnecessary items bundled with the formation services. Often the extra services they include can be done at home for free, or are just plain unnecessary. Sometimes we wonder if the competitors add these extra items to justify charging more for the packages.

Northwest also lets you pay for your LLC formation in monthly installments, instead of all at once. If you choose to pay monthly instead of upfront, you’ll pay $47 when you order and then Northwest will spread out their service fee and the state filing fee over monthly payments.

Plus, with the monthly payment option, Northwest will get an EIN number for your business for free. You still get all the other services like an Operating Agreement and free year of Registered Agent service.

Winner: Northwest Registered Agent. While IncFile has a lower price for their basic package, Northwest has a simple pricing strategy and gives you more value for money.

LLC Service Turnaround Time

IncFile

IncFile promises to file your documents with the state within one business day. That’s one of the fastest times in the industry.

However… Several customer reviews online say this claim isn’t accurate and that IncFile took a long time to process their filings.

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest says they process your order the same day you submit it. They will call to confirm the details of your submission – that call might be the next business day, if you submit your information on a weekend or in the evening.

Like their competitors, Northwest can help you pay for expedited filing through the state for faster approval if you pay the state expedited fee.

Winner: Northwest Registered Agent has the fastest turnaround times.

Upsells for LLC Services

IncFile

IncFile offers a variety of upsells that you can select for your new business. Some of them are easy to do yourself, but some business filings are better left to the professionals.

If you need these items, we think IncFile offers good value:

  • $99 Business License Search
  • $99 DBA (Fictitious Name) filing
  • $199 Trademark application filing

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest has a few upsells, but they’re never intrusive or annoying with these offers.

Some of the additional products are things you can do yourself at home, like requesting an EIN for your LLC.

Northwest also offers special business document services for transportation (trucking) and telecommunications registration. These are a unique offering and if you’re in those industries, these filings are essential.

Winner: This was a tie. IncFile offers some services Northwest doesn’t and vice versa. Both companies have good, competitive prices.

Language: We Prefer Honesty

IncFile

IncFile has some misleading language about their refund policy, and isn’t clear which companies they work with to provide certain features. We like to know whether our information is being sold to other companies.

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest keeps the language on their website clear, concise and friendly. They have helpful tips to explain the products and services they offer. But, it can be difficult to find the prices for some of Northwest’s services until you’re in a checkout flow.

Winner: Northwest Registered Agent has clearer, friendlier language on their site.

Customer Service: Helpful and Knowledgeable

IncFile

IncFile offers phone support or email. When we spoke to customer service representatives, they were all helpful and honest. None really went the extra mile to give us advice or suggestions, but they did accurately answer our questions.

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest offers chat or phone support, and both are excellent.

Unlike some competitors, Northwest representatives are subject matter experts who can answer any questions you have. We consistently found that Northwest reps gave extra details and advice, making sure to explain everything thoroughly.

Winner: Northwest wins for the best customer service.

User Experience: Simple Sites

IncFile

IncFile’s user experience offers a simple, streamlined formation process that lets you get through the order quickly. We like that they show a ‘live’ price based on what add-ons you select.

After formation, IncFile’s user dashboard is well-organized and easy to use when you need to order other filings or find documents.

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest’s website is calm and pleasant. There aren’t lots of menus and options to click through. Since their website is focused on LLC formation and Registered Agent Services, there aren’t a lot of distractions and you can easily find the service you want.

And after forming your LLC, the user dashboard is well-designed and engaging. You can see your approved LLC documents, as well as mail for your LLC received by Northwest Registered Agent.

Winner: This is a tie: both sites are well-made and easy to use.

IncFile vs Northwest: Registered Agent Services

Price Per Year

IncFile

IncFile charges $119 per year for Registered Agent services, which is about average for the industry. We like that IncFile includes a free year of Registered Agent service with any LLC formation package.

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest charges $125 per year for Registered Agent services.

Northwest offers Registered Agent service for $125/year.

Plus, Northwest has taken special care to place their offices in strategic locations to save you money on publication requirements and other state fees.

Privacy Protection. Northwest lets you use their address on state filings to protect your privacy. Some companies do this for a fee, but Northwest includes it for free as part of your Registered Agent service.

An address is required to form an LLC with the state, so Northwest lets you use their address instead of your home or office address. This helps keep your address off of public records and online searches. It’ll also reduce the amount of spam and junk mail you’ll receive.

Winner: Their prices are close, but Northwest offers extra services that make them the better choice for Registered Agent service.

Mail Forwarding and Service of Process

IncFile

IncFile scans and uploads any legal mail they receive for your LLC. They send an email notification about any new document, which you can then access on your account dashboard.

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest scans and uploads legal mail sent to your LLC. You access these uploads on the same dashboard as your other Northwest documents (like the LLC approval letter).

Winner: This was a tie: both companies offer the same service type.

Northwest Registered Agent vs IncFile: Who’s the winner?

When you compare Northwest Registered Agent vs IncFile, Northwest is the clear winner.

Overall, IncFile is a decent choice for LLC services. We like that their basic Silver plan comes with a free year of Registered Agent service and you don’t pay IncFile any service fees. But we worry that people often select IncFile’s basic (free) package and end up paying for extra upsells.

However, IncFile’s customer service isn’t the best and their refund policy is pretty strict.

Northwest Registered Agent has excellent customer service and they are industry experts.

Plus Northwest really values customers’ privacy, so they keep your address off public records and don’t sell your data to third parties.

Northwest Registered Agent is our favorite company and they’re also a better option if you’re on a tight budget. You don’t have to add extra features, or choose between upgraded packages.

We’ve been using Northwest for our own LLCs for many years and we highly recommend them.

File yourself with our free LLC guides

If neither IncFile or Northwest Registered Agent seems like the right fit, and you want to save money, you can form your LLC yourself. And we can help!

At LLC University®, we offer step-by-step guides that teach you how to form your LLC yourself. You just pay the state filing fee.

Get started here: How to start an LLC in all 50 states

The Hybrid Approach: Hire Northwest and DIY the little things

And even if you do hire Northwest Registered Agent to file your LLC, you can still save money in other ways. There are several upsells that you can skip and DIY instead:

Instead of paying for an LLC Operating Agreement, you can download our free LLC Operating Agreement template.

If you see an upsell for LLC Membership Certificates, you can skip it. We provide free LLC Membership Certificates here.

If you see an upsell for a Banking Resolution (aka financial account authorization letter), you can ignore it. This document isn’t actually needed to open an LLC business bank account. Banks will provide their own form.

If you’d rather not pay for someone to file your LLC Annual Report, you can do that yourself. Go to our LLC Annual Report page and select your state.

And you don’t have to hire someone to be your LLC’s Registered Agent. Instead, you can be the Registered Agent for your LLC. Check out our Registered Agent page for more details. All you need is a physical address in the state where you form your LLC. Being your own Registered Agent can save you more than $100 per year.

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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